Series: In Death #45
Published by St. Martin's Press on September 5th 2017
Genres: Crime Drama, SciFi
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A new novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series: Lt. Eve Dallas must separate rumors from reality when a woman who traffics in other people’s secrets is silenced.
The chic Manhattan nightspot Du Vin is not the kind of place Eve Dallas would usually patronize, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening.
The mortally wounded woman is Larinda Mars, a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally—with a knife to the brachial artery.
Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimized herself. But along the way, she may be exposed to some information she really didn’t want to know…
Eve and Roarke are always a favorite.
We first met Larinda Mars, Channel 75’s entertainment reporter, in Glory in Death when she passed some gossip onto Eve for her investigation in exchange for a party invitation. The last time we see Larinda is when she is having drinks at an club uptown where Eve is meeting with Dr. Dewinters. Even though Eve is right on scene, there is nothing she can do save Mars nor was she able to stop the killer from getting away.
Someone let Mars bleed to death and as Eve soon learns, it might have been poetic justice since Mars had a habit of bleeding the rich and famous. Blackmail is an ugly business but it was a hobby Larinda was very, very good at. And when the excitment of cash payoffs no longer excited her, she started to squeeze her victims for secrets so she could increase her blackmail list.
The more Eve investigates the more victims she finds, the longer her list of potential suspect grows. If only one of them had come to the police instead of grabbing their checkbook, Larinda would be in a cage instead of the morgue.
Things get a little too personal after Eve finds files of potential new victims bearing the names of her friends as well as herself and Roarke. Mars has been trying to squeeze Eve’s friends and acquaintences for something to blackmail her on. Too bad she didn’t try because Eve won’t be a victim ever again. Eve is angry but it won’t stop her from bringing a murderer to justice.
I am always up for an Eve Dallas story. Even though we are 45 books in, I still am excited to get the next book. I did notice that since the body count was low, Eve had several consults from her detectives on other disturbing murders to keep the shock value high.
She’d barely moved into the Bs when Roarke came in.
“I didn’t hear you knock.”
“I didn’t.” Like McNab’s, his gaze shifted and locked on the vault. Eve could only interpret his expression as a look of love.
“Ah, there she is.” He crossed to it, skimmed his fingers lightly over the polished surface. “Quite the beauty.”
“Should I leave the two of you alone?”
He tossed Eve a grin and set down what looked like a high-class field kit. “I owe you a solid for this as you’d say,” he told her as he took off his coat. “So I won’t say too much about all the signs you left that you’d picked the lock on the main door.”
“I had a warrant. I wasn’t worried about leaving signs.”
He all but tasked at her as he took off his suit jacket. “Have some pride in your work, darling.”
“I’m in, aren’t I? I could’ve used a battering ram.”
He only smiled, removed his tie, rolled up his sleeves. “It’s an excellent lock, with illegal master blocks. How long did it take you to lift it?”
When she shrugged, he took a leather strip out of his pocket, tied back his hair. “That long then? We’ll get more practice in.”
“If you owe me a solid, why are you pissing me off?”
He walked back to her, bent down to kiss the top of her head. “Then I’ll tell you: An amatuer or third-rate thief would have needed a drill or that battering ram.”
She nearly got to mollified, then pulled back, eyes narrowed. “Does that make me second rate?”
“It makes you an excellent student with considerable, innate skill.”
He picked up his kit, walked back to the vault. “Now, let’s have a good look at you, my lovely.”
So saying, he sat on the floor and began to take various tools–many she didn’t recognize–from the kit.
“What is all that?”
He turned, glanced meaningfully at her recorder.
She put it on pause.
“Mementors, you could say, from a past life,” he said, getting down to it again. “I cracked my first Podark in a lovely and graceful Tuscan villa. And a lovely night it was–I can still smell the lemon blossoms. I believe I was about twenty. I had my last…” He glanced back. “Before I had you.”
“How long before?”
“Hmm. Resume record.”
He chose a devise about as long and wide as his hand, attached it to the sheer front of the vault. He placed his fingers over it, hummed in his throat.
She watched him work for a few minutes as, apparently satisfied with whatever the first device told him, he attached a smaller one to it, slipped a comm unit over his ear.
She spotted a flash of codes, as incomprehensible to her as his morning stock reports, then left him to it to go back to her own work.
He muttered to himself now and then, sometimes in Irish, as she worked through the B’s and into the C’s. She heard McNab bounce back in, then stop.
She looked up to see his attention rivited on Roarke.
McNab whispered “Search team’s here. She-Body’s getting them started. How long’s he been at it?”
“I don’t know. Fifteen, twenty minutes.”
“Is it okay if I watch until…No way!” McNab exclaimed, and bounced forward. “No way you can open a Podark–that’s a TXR-2000. I looked it up. No way you can open it in twenty-freaking minutes!”
“Eighteen and thirty-two seconds.” Roarke slid off his earpiece. “She’s a shy one.”
“It has twenty-eight locking bolts, up to six passcodes and two failsafes. Kick my ass and call me Sally, you’ve gotta show me how you did that. It would’ve taken freaking hours to drill through.”
“Drilling wouldn’t do it,” Roarke said. “She’s built to snap drill bits like dry twigs under a boot heal. If you’re crude enough to try explosives, she’ll laugh at you. You don’t force or bully a lady like this.” He trailed his fingers over the surface again. “You…convince her.”
“Do the three of you need a moment?” Eve asked. “Or can we open the damn door on that thing and see what’s in it?”